Monday, 24 October 2016

West Berkshire Council has started a public consultation on the future of its public libraries, including Theale

The Council engaged consultants to carry out a "Needs Assessment" into its public library service. The Needs Assessment suggests a number of efficiency, and income generating, options. It also suggests that all branch libraries, with the exception of Wash Common, could stay open with the support of the community and town and parish councils.
The Council has identified three options for the library service, each one assuming:
  • the closure of Wash Common library
  • the retention of Newbury library with a restructured team of employees
  • the effective integration of the mobile library and 'At Home' services. The current two vehicle service will be amalgamated into one and the schedule of stops reviewed accordingly
  • increased income generation
  • a financial contribution from Town and Parish councils of at least £150,000 in total
  • community volunteers sharing the front line work in branch libraries.
Option A
The other seven branch libraries to be run by staff working alongside community volunteers. We currently estimate that this will allow the retention of one employed member of staff at each branch.
This would save approximately £580,000 per year.

Option B
This, and Option C below, is referred to as a 'Hub and Spoke' model.
Of the other seven branch libraries, two (possibly one in the west and one in the east of the district) would be staffed as in Option A above (Hubs) and five would be volunteer run only (Spokes), but receive professional support from the Hubs. This would save approximately £620,000 per year.

Option C The other seven branch libraries to be volunteer run (Spokes) with staff only in Newbury (Hub). This would save approximately £645,000 per year.
You can take part in the consultation by going to

Monday, 10 October 2016

Monday, 26 September 2016

Notice of election for 3 vacancies on Theale Parish Council published

There are three vacancies on Theale Parish Council caused by the death of Charles Bateman and by two resignations.

At least ten Theale residents have requested a by-election and one will be held on 3rd November if more than three candidates are nominated.

Notice of Election

Anyone who is registered to vote and lives in Theale, or within three miles, can be nominated. Nominations forms must be signed by two people registered to vote in Theale. Completed nomination forms must be delivered in person to:

  The Returning Officer,
  West Berkshire Council,
  Council Offices,
  Market Street,
  RG14 5LD

on Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and no later than 4 pm on Friday, 7th October 2016.

Nomination forms have been sent to the parish council office and should be available from the middle of the week. Public opening hours are 9:30am to 2:30pm. They can also be downloaded from:

The polling district and elector numbers required on the form can be obtained from the electoral roll. A copy of this will be available at the parish office. Alternatively, they can be obtained from West Berkshire Council's Electoral Services Department:


  Phone: 01635 519464

The forms are not as complicated as they look. Some are only applicable if standing under a political party. If you need any help then contact WBC electoral services.

Future of #Theale Library to be discussed by #W

The future of Theale Library to be discussed by #WestBerks Council's Executive committee on 20th October. The item that will be on the agenda is:
To request authority for public consultation on proposals for the future shape of the West Berkshire Library Service in light of the Needs Assessment. To ensure that the Council achieves savings while meeting its statutory obligations in library service provision.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Delivery of permits to use West Berks waste & recycling sites delayed

The West Berks Council waste permit scheme is due to start this Monday (26th September) but many residents will not receive permits until days after it starts. However, you will still be required to prove that you are a resident of West Berkshire to use the sites in Newtown Road, Newbury, or at Padworth, from Monday. If you haven't received a permit yet then you can use a photo ID (e.g. a driving licence or bus pass) and a council tax or utility bill.

West Berks Council press release.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

West Berks Council: Compulsory purchase order for Theale school land approved

West Berkshire Councillors have voted to proceed with the compulsory purchase of land on the North Street Playing Field in Englefield Road, Theale, which is required for the new primary school in the village.
At a Council meeting last week, the Council resolved to proceed with a compulsory purchase order for the required land after lengthy negotiations with the leaseholder, Theale Parish Council, failed to reach an agreement on relinquishing the lease.
Please read the council's press release

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Compulsory Purchase Order for land required for new Theale Primary School

West Berkshire Council will decide on issuing a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for the land required for the new Theale Church of England Primary School at its meeting on Thursday evening (15th September). 

The recommendations to the Council are:

2.1 Having given consideration to all the provisions of this report including the impact on Human Rights and Equalities, the Council resolves to delegate to the Head of Legal Services authority to make a Compulsory Purchase Order(s) and other such powers as detailed in Section 1.1 of this report.

2.2 Whilst negotiations are continuing to take place, successful negotiated purchase agreements cannot be reached despite numerous attempts to engage over the last 18 months. 

2.3 Without the Council's involvement to acquire the necessary interests in land, the Council will be unable to unlock the site for the relocation of Theale Church of England Primary School. The school has already exceeded capacity and there is an urgent need to provide more primary school places in Theale to meet current demand and projected pupil modelling numbers. The proposal will assist with meeting the Council's duty to provide sufficient primary school places. 

The land subject to the CPO is the North Street Playing Field in Englefield Road.

The item on the Council's agenda can be accessed by clicking here

The plan showing the land subject to the CPO can be accessed by clicking here.

The meeting will be held in the Council Chamber at the Council's offices in Market Street, Newbury. It will start at 7pm.